PPP Forgiveness Guidance

While I recommend you seek the assistance of your accountant to determine your PPP forgiveness, here are a few FAQ’s I found on QuickBooks site this evening;

Source: https://aidassist.intuit.com/app/home?redirect=%2Ffaq%23flex_act#/faq#flex_act

What are the forgivable costs for a PPP loan?

Potentially forgivable costs Employee Payroll Costs (if applicable):

  • Gross salary, wages, commissions, tips, or similar compensation
  • Employee benefits including vacation, parental, family medical or sick leave
  • Certain state and local taxes assessed on compensation

Owner Compensation:

For 8-week covered periods: Up to $15,385 (or the 8-week equivalent of 2019 compensation, whichever is lower)
For 24-week covered periods: Up to $20,833 (or the 2.5 month equivalent of 2019 compensation, whichever is lower)

Other potentially forgivable costs:

  • Interest on business mortgages in effect before February 15, 2020
  • Rent payments on leases dated before February 15, 2020
  • Utility payments for gas, electricity, water, transportation, phone, or internet access under agreements dated before February 15, 2020

Loan forgiveness

What is the PPP Flexibility Act?

The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPP Flex Act) was signed into law on June 5, 2020. The PPP Flex Act provides borrowers with more flexibility, including extending the amount of time to spend PPP funds for forgiveness purposes, and adjusts certain rules applicable to PPP loans.

Are loans through the Paycheck Protection Program forgivable?

Loans may be forgivable, in whole or in part, if the funds are used as directed by the SBA, including but not limited to the following criteria:

  • Use at least 60% of the funds for payroll costs
  • Use no more than 40% on eligible non-payroll costs
  • Maintain the same number of employees on the payroll
  • Maintain employee salary levels
  • Rehire and restore wages to employees who were laid off between February 15 and April 26, 2020, as a result of the coronavirus by December 31, 2020, or before the date you submit your loan forgiveness application, whichever comes first.

Note that your forgiveness amount won’t be reduced if your business was unable to operate between February 15, 2020 and the end of your Loan Forgiveness Covered Period at the same level as before February 1, 2020, due to compliance with certain federal requirements or guidance issued between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 related to maintaining standards of sanitation, social distancing, or other work or customer safety requirements related to COVID-19.

If you use less than 60% of your PPP funds on eligible payroll costs, you will only be eligible for partial loan forgiveness.

Lenders are responsible for approving and denying loan forgiveness. To apply for loan forgiveness, you can submit a request to your lender.

What is the loan forgiveness covered period?

If you received your funds after June 5, 2020, your loan forgiveness covered period is 24 weeks. If you received your PPP funds before June 5, 2020, you can choose to use either an 8-week or 24-week loan forgiveness covered period.

Your loan forgiveness covered period generally begins on the date you received your PPP funds (or if you received them on more than one date, the first date you received PPP funds), and must end no later than December 31, 2020. You don’t have to use all your loan proceeds during the loan forgiveness covered period, but only eligible costs paid during that period (and certain eligible costs incurred but not paid during that period) are eligible for forgiveness. Costs incurred after the loan forgiveness covered period won’t be forgiven.

What is the alternative payroll covered period?

Solely for the purpose of calculating payroll (and certain required reductions), if you are a borrower with a biweekly or more frequent payroll schedule, you may choose an “alternative payroll covered period” that aligns with your payroll cycle.

The alternative payroll covered period begins on the first day of the first pay period following receipt of your PPP funds. For example, if you received your PPP funds on Monday, April 20, and the first day of your first pay period following receipt of your PPP funds is Sunday, April 26, the first day of the alternative payroll covered period is April 26. If you choose to use this alternative period, it applies only to payroll costs and certain required reductions.

How do I apply for loan forgiveness?

If you’re a PPP loan recipient, you will submit a PPP loan forgiveness application to your lender or the lender servicing your PPP loan. Once you submit your application for forgiveness, the lender will have 60 days to accept or deny your application.

Your PPP loan forgiveness application must include the documents verifying your payroll, full time employees, and non-payroll expenses. Note that if you opt to use an EZ PPP Loan Applications, certain documentation requirements may differ.

Payroll expenses for the Loan Forgiveness Covered Period or, if applicable the Alternative Payroll Covered Period

  • Bank account statements or third-party payroll service provider reports documenting the amount of cash compensation paid to employees.
  • Payroll tax forms (or equivalent third-party payroll service provider reports) to demonstrate payroll tax filings reported, or that will be reported, to the IRS (typically, Form 941).
  • Tax forms (or equivalent third-party payroll service provider reports) to demonstrate state quarterly business and individual employee wage reporting and unemployment insurance tax filings reported, or that will be reported, to the relevant state.
  • Payment receipts, canceled checks, or account statements documenting the amount of any company contributions to employee health insurance and retirement plans that the borrower included in the forgiveness amount.
  • If applicable, the 2019 Form 1040 Schedule C submitted with your application.

Full-time employees during the reference period selected by the borrower

  • Documentation verifying the average number of FTEs on payroll per week employed by the borrower during the reference period selected by the borrower for purposes of assessing whether a reduction of the forgiveness amount due to an FTE reduction was required.
  • Documents may include payroll tax filings reported, or that will be reported, to the IRS (typically, Form 941) and state quarterly business and individual employee wage reporting and unemployment insurance tax filings reported, or that will be reported, to the relevant state. (Documents submitted may cover periods longer than the specific time period.)

Non-payroll expenses

  • Business mortgage interest payments: Copy of lender amortization schedule and receipts or canceled checks verifying eligible payments from the Loan Forgiveness Covered Period; or lender account statements from February 2020 and the months of the Loan Forgiveness Covered Period through one month after the end of that period verifying interest amounts and eligible payments.
  • Business rent or lease payments: Copy of current lease agreement and receipts or canceled checks verifying eligible payments from the Loan Forgiveness Covered Period; or lessor account statements from February 2020 and from the Loan Forgiveness Covered Period through one month after the end of that period verifying eligible payments.
  • Business utility payments: Copy of invoices from February 2020 and those paid during the Loan Forgiveness Covered Period and receipts, canceled checks, or account statements verifying those eligible payments.

Fore more information about PPP loan forgiveness documentation, please refer to the SBA’s PPP loan forgiveness application.

How much of my loan is eligible for forgiveness?

The amount of loan forgiveness can be up to the full principal amount of your loan and any accrued interest. The actual amount of loan forgiveness depends on how and when you spend your loan proceeds. Only eligible costs paid during your loan forgiveness covered period and certain eligible costs incurred but not paid during that period are eligible for forgiveness. Other criteria apply. For example, salary, wage, or headcount reductions may reduce the forgivable amount for some borrowers.

How should I spend my loan if I want it to be forgiven in full?

  • Use 100% of your PPP funds within your loan forgiveness covered period
  • Use 60% or more of PPP funds on eligible payroll costs
  • Use up to 40% of PPP funds on other eligible non-payroll costs

If you use less than 60% of your PPP funds on eligible payroll costs, you will only be eligible for partial loan forgiveness. Please note that your total forgiveness amount depends on other criteria as well. For example, salary, wage or headcount reductions during the loan forgiveness covered period (or, if applicable, your alternative payroll covered period) may reduce the forgivable amount for some borrowers.

Do I qualify for loan forgiveness under the Paycheck Protection Program if I laid off workers?

Small business owners may be eligible for loan forgiveness even if they’ve laid off workers between February 15, 2020, and April 26, 2020, as a result of the coronavirus. However, keep in mind that reductions to headcount may reduce your forgiveness amount if the average weekly number of full-time equivalent employees you employ during your Loan Forgiveness Covered Period (or, if applicable, Alternative Payroll Covered Period) is less than the average weekly number of full-time equivalent employees between one of the following reference periods:

  • February 15, 2019 and June 30, 2019, or
  • January 1, 2020 and February 29, 2020

Seasonal employers may choose either of the above reference periods or any consecutive twelve-week period between May 1, 2019 and September 15, 2019.

SYour loan forgiveness amount will not be reduced based on headcount reductions if:

  • Reductions made between February 15, 2020, and April 26, 2020, are reversed by the earlier of (a) the date you submit your application for loan forgiveness or (b) December 31, 2020
  • Your business was unable to operate between February 15, 2020, and the end of your covered period at the same level has before February 1, 2020, due to compliance with certain federal requirements or guidance issued between March 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020, related to maintaining standards of sanitation, social distancing, or other work or customer safety requirements related to COVID-19.

Do loans under the Paycheck Protection Program cover paid sick leave?

If you qualify for the Paycheck Protection Program, you can use your loan to pay employer-provided parental, family, medical, and sick leave and other forms of paid time off. Paycheck Protection Program loans don’t cover emergency paid sick and family leave provided by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

3 Likes

I understand there are two different time frames to apply for forgiveness. Can we apply after the first one but before the second one? or do we have to wait until the second one runs fully out, even if the money has been used? Thanks

Hello forum,

Does anyone know how they PPP money will be treated in terms of taxable income? I read somewhere that it counts as taxable income if forgiven but the payroll and expenses paid with it do not count as expenses. If so, then would it be subject to the corporate tax rate or the personal tax rate for S corps? That could be as much as 20-30% of it. This could be very important for tax planning or to even decide if applying for forgiveness makes sense financially, when this is a loan at 1% interest. Any comments?

It will not be treated as taxable income if forgiven. Instead, they will not allow the expenses used for the forgiveness to be deductible for the purposes of calculating net income. The net effect is similar.

2 Likes

I have the same question as Dr. Ashley Miller

we fully spent all of our money in the 8 weeks, now what? How do we apply for forgiveness? What documentation is needed?

@dr.ashley.miller - I believe it is your choice…if you are able to satisfy spending approved items within the 8-week period, you can apply for forgiveness. However, as of last Wednesday banks were not prepared to start processing the forgiveness paperwork.

@NolaKaren -

The application for forgiveness is submitted to the lender who provided the PPP loan. As of last Wednesday many were not ready to start accepting such paperwork. It will vary after SBA releases the final regulations to the banks and the banks get their ducks in a row…

We were told by our accountant that if you are using the 24 week period you can apply early, you just have to still use the 24 week calculations for any penalties. Yesterday I reached out to our bank to ask if we could start the process and was told that the forgiveness process has been pushed to August 17th due to additional changes the SBA is working on. Once that is sorted out, our bank is planning to email out the electronic application in waves based on when funding was secured.

2 Likes

For C-Corp owners, our payroll company says their health premium benefit and 401-k match must be included in their $15,385. Can anyone show me documentation for that. Best I can tell, the $15,385 is for cash compensation only.